Blog v. Article – what’s the difference?
I frequently hear the words blog and article bunched together, for example ‘We’d like to start posting regular blogs/articles.’ Some people I speak with are not entirely sure which word to use, thinking perhaps they’re one and the same, so I thought a brief post may be helpful to highlight the key differences between the two.
The most notable differences between a blog post and an article are the length, the difference in writing style, and the amount of research that goes into the piece. Blogs tend to range from 250-750 words and use simple, conversational language and terminology which is expressed in a fairly casual tone, and from a personal viewpoint. Articles are more lengthy, ranging from 750-5000 words, are more journalistic in nature, and are written from an unbiased, professional viewpoint.
There are considerable overlaps at times, especially in today’s content heavy online world, and there are good reasons for writing either – both will help you to increase your visibility, build a strong brand, present industry authority, provide useful info etc. However, knowing the difference between the two and knowing which to write (and for what platform) is key, and will help you target your audience more effectively.
One crucial point to remember above all else: make sure your readers’ needs are being met!
Here’s a quick summary of both:
- Housed on a specific blog page on a website, or on a social media channel. Posted regularly and in reverse chronological order.
- Shorter in length, ranging from 250-500 words.
- More casual, revealing the author’s own voice and using their own writing style.
- Written in a casual, informal style and from a personal viewpoint. Based on the author’s own experiences and opinions rather than fact based. Conveys author’s personality. No interviews/research. Often written in the first person.
- Written quickly and with little or no scrutiny / editing, although spelling and grammar should still be important.
- Possible focus on SEO.
- Blog posts tend to inspire or entertain the reader, encourage conversation, and give them something to like and share.
- Published on online forums (for example Quora), professional platforms such as LinkedIN, and in print.
- Longer and more in depth, ranging from 750-5000 words.
- Professional, journalistic or more sophisticated writing style.
- Written from an unbiased perspective, steering clear of personal opinion. Involves research and is more fact based, containing statistics, data, images/graphs, interviews, explanations or analysis. Often quotes authorities, experts and credible sources. More formal structure (intro, middle, conclusion). Often written in second or third person.
- Written with careful consideration. Editing is a crucial step. Spelling and grammar should be impeccable.
- SEO – little to no importance.
- Articles tend to often convey more authority, educate, inform, provide useful information to the reader.
Despite the above, things are changing now the internet is saturated with blog posts and articles. The bar has been raised and the lines have become blurred somewhat – blog posts are now appearing more professional, containing interviews or data and delivering more value. Google has also tightened the reins on spammy, keyword stuffed blogs, so people are forced to create better, more original content. On the flip side, some organisations are also wanting to convey more personality and are relaxing their writing style, preferring a more casual/personal tone for articles.
If you know you need to be more visible but need help identifying what would actually work for your business, hit me up! I can help you identify how to speak to the right people, in the right voice, on the right platforms!
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